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The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume One: Microeconomics Paperback – January 19, 2010

55 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0809094813 ISBN-10: 0809094819

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The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume One: Microeconomics + The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume Two: Macroeconomics + The Cartoon Introduction to Statistics
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Book Description
The award-winning illustrator Grady Klein has paired up with the world's only stand-up economist, Yoram Bauman, PhD, to take the dismal out of the dismal science. From the optimizing individual to game theory to price theory, The Cartoon Introduction to Economics is the most digestible, explicable, and humorous 200-page introduction to microeconomics you'll ever read.

Bauman has put the "comedy" into "economy" at comedy clubs and universities around the country and around the world (his "Principles of Economics, Translated" is a YouTube cult classic). As an educator at both the university and high school levels, he has learned how to make economics relevant to today's world and today's students. As Google's chief economist, Hal Varian, wrote, "You don’t need a brand-new economics. You just need to see the really cool stuff, the material they didn't get to when you studied economics." The Cartoon Introduction to Economics is all about integrating the really cool stuff into an overview of the entire discipline of microeconomics, from decision trees to game trees to taxes and thinking at the margin.

Rendering the cool stuff fun is the artistry of the illustrator and lauded graphic novelist Klein. Panel by panel, page by page, he puts comics into economics. So if the vertiginous economy or a dour professor's 600-page econ textbook has you desperate for a fun, factual guide to economics, reach for The Cartoon Introduction to Economics and let the collaborative genius of the Klein-Bauman team walk you through an entire introductory microeconomics course.

Take a Look Inside The Cartoon Introduction to Economics
In the panels below, Grady Klein and Yoram Bauman illustrate economist Adam Smith's principle of the invisible hand. This priciple suggests that individuals unwittingly benefit society by pursuing their own self interest. (Click on any image to enlarge)





From Publishers Weekly

As a study aide, if you can get past—or roll with—the often-precious humor presented by humorist/Ph.D. Bauman, this book is well organized and direct, using its overviews to deflate some of the pomposity that surrounds economic theory. While pro–free trade, the book regards the theories it presents with a slight grain of salt, giving the reader an even broader view of economic history, with the trends that worked short- and long-term. Often, though, this is almost as tedious as an economics textbook—only those who are assigned a class in microeconomics might find some enjoyment in this book, a potential respite from their dry assignments. Also on the negative side, the drawings seem to be flat blobs. For those required to study the subject or already familiar with it, this has some value as a colorful brush up, but the merely curious may struggle. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cartoon Introduction to Economics
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang (January 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809094819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809094813
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.6 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By R on January 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
I just finished this book and was surprised by how naturally Bauman and Grady link various topics together with a balance of serious focus and light humor.

Once I started, I found it hard to put down, since each chapter leads comfortably into the next, as if it were woven into a single, coherent story. At surprisingly frequent intervals, Bauman and Grady decorate the discussion with humorous comments about economics and economists which also tends to keep reading fun, even when discussing serious topics.

Another interesting feature is the way the book boils down the work of recent Nobel laureates in economics: the book visually demonstrates the idea. You'll soon find yourself comfortable with the new "big ideas" of economics in ways that allow you to see the world with additional insights (not to mention being able to discuss adverse selection in casual conversation with your friends...).

A final feature I found useful was a visual glossary that explains key concepts and echo the visual treatment of the concept in the book. Throughout the glossary are images that convey the meaning of economic concepts. If you're a visual learner, you will really enjoy this book.

For those who want to make sure that serious economics concepts are truly covered in this book, I've included a short list below. The book is organized into 3 main sections:

- The Optimizing Individual (one person)
This section covers decision trees, the time value of money and it's use in decision making, decision making under risk (diversification, expected value, adverse selection, etc), and trade (efficient market hypothesis, Coase Theorem, etc).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mon Wulff on April 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is amazing and hilarious! I first came across Yoram Bauman on […]
and I have visited his blog regularly ever since. I pre-ordered the book because I knew from seeing his stand-up that it would not dissappoint and it's hasn't.
I'm a Economics undergraduate student in Sydney Australia. The content in this book summarises the basic information I learnt in my first year at university but, it's done in a really smart, easy to understand and funny way.
I recommend this book to who ever enjoys economic theory or any parent who has a child who is struggling with micro-economic theory.

I can't wait for Volume 2!!!!

Mon
Sydney, Australia
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mark Harrison on January 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I preordered my copy, and was happy to find out that Amazon had shipped it early enough so that it would arrive at my home on the release date.

I have quite enjoyed reading it, and if you're looking for an easy-to-digest introduction to the topic, this might be the book for you. One thing that makes it a nice introduction is that

Yoram Bauman is definitely a funny guy: search for "stand up economist" on youtube, or enjoy this presentation where he translates the 10 Principles of Economics into layman's terminology. If you like this presentation you will like the book.

[...]
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By HAYLEY HUMMERSTON on January 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach high school economics so I bought this as a resource to help my students grasp some of the concepts involved in the subject. I loved reading the book & will definitely use some extracts in class. My only beef is that the terminology isn't always what we use in Australia, & particularly in the NSW syllabus. But this can't be helped & is a small price to pay for a truly original, amusing & engaging book which does indeed make economics more accessible.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hans de Grys on February 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Cartoon Introduction to Economics. The fundamental ideas in Microeconomics are presented in a clear and intelligent manner, with many humorous but thoughtful examples and analogies. The organization of the book is clean and logical, moving from the "optimizing individual" to "strategic interactions" of small groups to "market interactions" involving many people. A wide variety of topics are distilled down to their essence (decision trees, risk, pareto efficiency, auctions, trade, supply and demand, taxes, elasticity, etc.). Klein's whimsical and funny illustrations add a great deal to the text, and hold the reader's interest while at the same time helping to explain the various concepts and examples. This book is appropriate for many different ages and backgrounds, from high school or college students studying econ to the average adult seeking a little more knowledge and understanding of basic economic principles. I've read parts of it several times, and find that I get a deeper understanding of some of the more complicated and nuanced concepts the second time through. My one (minor) complaint is that this otherwise quick read bogs down a bit in some of the later chapters (e.g. margins and elasticity) with too much theory (and not enough jokes?). But this is a minor issue, and on the whole I enthusiastically recommend this book for both econ students and for people who just want to learn more about the topic (and have fun doing it).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on April 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
Organized in good textbook fashion, "The Cartoon Introduction to Economics" is divided into three major units: 1)'The Optimizing Individual,' 2)'Strategic Interactions,' and 3)'Market Interactions.' Within these major units the authors provide adult treatment of important topics like decision trees, Pareto thinking, taxes, supply and demand, and many others. The material is cute, funny, and easy to understand. The only problem: How will students memorize all those cartoons and learn to quickly reproduce them on an exam?

I'm looking forward to Volume Two: Macroeconomics, when they show us how to fix the economy and bring back our jobs from Asia.
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The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume One: Microeconomics
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